Onshore infrastructure plans for a Moray Firth wind farm project have been submitted to local authorities following a long battle with the local community.
Admitting that the local community “clearly influenced” the decision, the project development manager for Moray (West) Offshore Wind Farm said the plans could also net 150 new jobs.
Last month, the tiny Sandend community celebrated after winning a David vs Goliath battle against the major wind farm development.
Local residents had argued with developers since January against plans for the substation cabling to come ashore at the beach.
The spot is a favourite among surfers, and they were among the campaigners fighting against the green energy scheme cutting through the sands.
The developer has also removed the villages of Sandend, Fordyce, Berryhillock and Kirkton of Deskford from the application area.
The Moray West Offshore Windfarm aims to deploy 90 turbines off the coast of the Moray Firth which could provide power for more than 850,000 homes.
Jamie Grant, OFTO development manager for Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) Ltd , said: “Following an extensive consultation programme we are pleased to submit our plans for the Onshore Transmission Infrastructure to support Moray West Offshore Wind Farm.
“We have worked closely with the local communities and key stakeholders to ensure that the proposals are appropriate for the area and reflect the feedback we have gathered throughout the development process. This feedback has clearly influenced our final plans with the exclusion of Sandend Beach and key residential settlements.
“I would like to thank everyone for their interest in our plans. We will be hosting a range of activities in local communities in the coming months – continuing our engagement as our plans progress.”
North-east MP Doulas Ross, said: “While it is welcome news that the concerns from the Sandend community and others have been linstened to by the project team, there is still uncertainty over where the cables will come ashore.
“It is vital that the community engagement continues, and if local areas have concerns about the revised proposals, these must be considered and respected as well.”